Neath Polyphonic Choir
in aid of Prostate Cancer UK
Friday 7th December 2018
St.David’s Church, Neath – 7pm
with Guest Tenor – RHODRI PRYS JONES
and BRITON FERRY SILVER BAND
KEEP THE DATE FREE IN YOUR DIARIES!
Please click any pictures on the page to see larger versions.
Summer Concert: 29th June 2018
What a wonderful night! A top guest soprano – MENNA CAZEL – and the delightful Tonnau Primary School Choir. Thanks to the support of our large audience (over 260!), it was the most enjoyable of evenings. We battled against the heat – who knows if 2018 will go down as one of our hottest summers – however, the Choir gave of their very best, and with the support of Keith Evans, Richard John and Joe Stanbury – the concert turned out to be one of our very best.
It was also the last concert for James Thomas, our main accompanist, and what a high to go out on! A very big thank-you to him for all his work with the Choir over the last two years, and we wish him well for the future, as he moves on to University.
We are delighted that Tezni Williams will take over as our main accompanist in September, and she has already proved herself a capable musician.
Thanks to everyone who helped behind the scenes – making the concert such a success. We are thrilled that the evening made a profit of over £900 – which will be divided between Tonnau Primary School and ‘The Rainbow Rooms’ Autistic Unit at Gnoll Primary.
Christmas Concert: 8th December 2017
Thank-you to everyone who supported our Christmas Concert. It was a truly wonderful night, and an amazing turn-out – it is not often we see St.David’s Church s
o full. So grateful to our guest soloist, Huw Ynyr for standing in at short notice (to replace Rhodri Prys Jones). Huw was a delight to work with – and such a beautiful Tenor voice! The children of Cor Ysgol Gymraeg Castell Nedd were superb and a joy to watch, and with Briton Ferry Silver Band members adding that ‘sound of Christmas’, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Thanks to our Choir, James, Keith, Richard and Tezni (making her debut, as assistant accompanist) – and all who helped make the concert such a success. The magnificent profit of £1,400 was raised for The Salvation Army – and this will be donated to them in the new year.
Summer Concert: 23rd June 2017
Once again, the Choir agreed to make this a charity concert – with all profits going to Neath Port Talbot MIND Association, who do so much good work locally for those suffering from mental health problems.
The evening went superbly, since when we have been delighted to receive so many words of praise and it seems that everyone really enjoyed the night.
The Choir and musicians gave their all, and the anthems sung at the close of the concert were almost overwhelming in sound. Town Mayor, Councillor Mark Protheroe commented that although he heard the anthem at Cardiff Arms Park on a previous occasion, he had never heard the it sung with such ‘roof raising’ volume as at our concert!
Soprano, Jennifer Walker was the outstanding performer of the night – and her choice of repertoire was so entertaining – with the two great opera arias from Puccini and Verdi, combined with some lighter fare from Johann Strauss and Ivor Novello in the second half. Richard P.John’s piano accompanying for Jennifer was seemingly effortless, and like a master-class in the art of accompaniment. He is an extraordinary talented musician.
The delightful Sian Emily Hughes charmed the audience with her harp playing, and the beautiful instrument gracing the concert stage was a delight in itself to
behold. This talented 15 year old musician surely has a great career ahead of her.
Keith on the organ gave his usual assured and confident support, and he is now a regular part of the team – and a much valued one. James – at only his second concert with the Choir – has progressed enormously, and handled some challenging accompaniments with a confidence that has grown steadily over the last term. He is fast becoming a great asset to the Choir – and we look forward to his continued support for the terms ahead.
Thanks to everyone who came to support the concert, and to all who helped in any way behind the scenes, contributing towards the success of the night. Receiving a standing ovation from the audience at the close of the evening was the icing on the cake!
Christmas Concert: 9th December 2016
After the high praise we received for this year’s summer concert, the Choir were facing a high standard to maintain, but once again, the choristers gave their all on the night and produced what many people have since said that was ‘the best concert yet’! With a number of new choristers on board this term increasing the choir to over 60 in number and with our new accompanist James Thomas making his concert debut with the Choir, it was an exciting night.
We were overwhelmed by the large audience of over 260 that came, and we are so grateful of their support. The ‘icing on the cake’ however was the guest soloist, ‘new’ Welsh Soprano, ELLEN WILLIAMS, who was quite simply breath-taking in her performances. She had the audience in the palm of her hand with the beautiful purity of her voice, which was at one and the same time wonderfully controlled, but not lacking power too. She was accompanied by our guest accompanist, Richard P.John, one
of this area’s outstanding talents, whose playing is a delight in itself.
Members of Briton Ferry Silver Band under their Music Director, Jeff Pearce provided that special ‘Christmas-sy’ touch with their excellent choice of carols. Keith Evans gave his usual polished support on the organ, and with wine, mince pies and shortbread for everyone during the interval, there was a feeling that Christmas was truly on the way!
As the joyous finale item came to a conclusion, there was a standing ovation from the whole audience! Thanks to everyone involved, the Choir is pleased to announce that a profit of over £1,000 has been raised from this concert which will go to support the work of ‘Marie Curie’ Cancer Care.
Summer Concert – 1st July 2016
…‘a superb concert’…’what a brilliant night’…..’a triumph’….. ‘wonderful choice of music’…. ‘the quality of singing of the Choir and guest artist’…..’the high standard of musical accompaniment’…….just some of the many comments that have been received following our recent Summer Concert at St.David’s, Neath.
Neath Polyphonic Choir are going from strength to strength and as more than one person said, ‘They have now raised the bar to an even higher level’ . Their next Concert at Christmas will indeed be eagerly awaited.
The Choir pulled all stops out, as so often before, and their special guest Tenor, Rhodri Prys Jones was one of the most engaging of artists, with a beautiful tenor voice, and a conviction in his performances.
Catwg Primary School Choir
A great moment of solemnity was observed in commemoration of the Battle of the Somme – with the concert falling on the exact date 100 years on from the
terrible First Day of Battle – one of the worst in history. The Rector of Neath led a prayer at the start of the evening, and then the Choir sang two Requiem excerpts in the second half with the poem ‘For the Fallen’ movingly read by Gerald Roderick. It was a powerful moment.
Instrumentalists Candice Dempster (oboe) and Joseph Stanbury (percussion) played their parts superbly and Keith Evans on the organ was magnificent in lifting the whole concert onto a high level.
Sadly, Joe Cavalli-Price accompanied the Choir for the very last occasion, as we say goodbye to him this term, and wish him well as he moves on to Music College in Cardiff. However, he went out on a high with some outstanding accompaniment not only for the Choir but also for the guest soloist. He has given the Choir such energy and confidence by his assured accompaniment and he will be greatly missed by us. We wish him every success for the future.
Thanks to everyone involved in making this evening such a resounding success – not least our very supportive audience. A donation from the concert will be made to Catwg Primary School Hearing Impaired Unit.
Christmas Concert: St.David’s Neath
4th December 2015
A great night was enjoyed by everyone at our Christmas 2015 concert in aid of Breast Cancer NOW, which attracted an audience of around 200. Guest Baritone Steffan Jones sung beautifully and the talented young clarinetist from Neath, Ewan Partington charmed the audience with the maturity of his playing. The Choir gave their all and brought off a very varied selection of Christmas music to great effect. Accompanist Joseph Cavalli-Price who was kept busy most of the evening, playing for the soloists as well as the Choir, accompanied excellently, as ever. With Keith Evans supporting so well on the organ and treating the audience to an enjoyable solo item too, the evening was a veritable success. Wine and Mince Pies – all inclusive – in the interval helped along the festive mood. Thanks to everyone involved, the final total raised for Breast Cancer NOW was £925!
Autumn Concert: St.Catharine’s Church, Baglan
16th October 2015
The Choir’s concert at this beautiful church in Baglan followed from an invite by John Hussell, Chairperson of the Roger Chilcott Music in the Community Society – which does so much good work in the area. With soloists, Sally Kingsbury and Jonathan Lycett, it was a delightful evening with a mix of music to suit all tastes. Compere, Tony Kingsbury kept the evening flowing along with plenty of humour, and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Neath Polyphonic gave of their very best and repeated the ‘Sound of Music’ sing-a-long which had gone down so well with the Neath audience in the Summer. With both soloists, Sally and Jonathan joining with the Choir, Joe at the piano and Andrew McCutcheon on the St.Catharine’s ‘Willis’ organ, this finale piece brought the concert to a resounding conclusion!
Proceeds of the concert will go to the Roger Chilcott Society.
Summer Concert: St.David’s Church, Neath
5th June 2015
The Choir’s Summer Concert was a superb evening of entertainment and everyone seemed to really enjoy the feast of music, which offered something to suit all tastes. The main guest soloist for the evening was the highly
accomplished and very versatile soprano, Angharad Morgan, a native of Loughor, but who also has strong links with Neath and St.David’s Church. She was outstanding throughout the evening and totally enthralled the audience with her thrillingly powerful voice, and such engaging personality. Angharad is greatly in demand as a concert soloist, as well as for her opera and oratorio work, and has performed regularly with Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera Companies. Neath Polyphonic Choir were delighted that she was able to accept their invitation to sing at this concert.
The Choir were also joined by talented instrumentalist, Ben Evans, who played Trumpet for a performance of Handel’s coronation anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’. He also performed a number of entertaining Trumpet solos, accompanied by Conal Bembridge-Sayers on the piano.
There were some new pieces from the Choir, as well as many old favourites, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film, ‘The Sound of Music’ – the concert concluded with a selection from this perennial favourite from Rodgers and Hammerstein, with all artists taking part and the audience included too as part of a ‘Sing-a-long’.
All in all, a wonderful night of great music!
Christmas Concert: St.David’s Church, Neath
5th December 2014
Neath Polyphonic Choir pulled out all the stops for their Christmas Concert in conjunction with Soroptimist International of Neath at St.David’s Church, Neath – and what an enjoyable night it was! This fundraising event was for the benefit of two charities – Neath Foodbank and ‘Ice Cool Kids’ – which works to provide opportunities for disabled children.With an audience of over 250 in attendance, there was a wonderful festive spirit and everyone joined in heartily with the audience carols, supported by a large section of Briton Ferry Silver Band and Keith Evans on the mighty organ.
The Choir’s guest soloist was Rebecca Conway, a young soprano, who had great stage presence and gave a powerful performance. Rebecca has much experience as a chorister of St.David’s Church Choir and a Royal School of Church Music Gold Award winner, and is no stranger to the musical theatre stage locally. Tonight however was
her debut as a main guest soloist. She was accompanied by the Choir’s accompanist, Joseph Cavalli-Price, who was on fine form all evening.
Briton Ferry Silver Band Ensemble treated the audience to a selection of carols and Christmas music, which was well received. Keith Evans as always contributed greatly to the proceedings with his quality organ playing, and delighted the audience with an organ piece ‘Is uwe lanp wel brandend’ by Gert van Hoef – a Dutch composer and organist (possibly a Welsh or even UK Premiere of this work).
Mrs.Anne Ellis and her team of ladies from the Neath Soroptimist branch worked hard to provide everyone with mulled wine, orange juice and mince pies during the interval, and this all added to the joy of the event.
All in all, a superb evening!
Autumn Concert: St.Peter’s Church, Pontardawe
10th October 2014
The Choir were pleased to take part as main guests in a fundraising event for the PANTRY Foodbank which was set up in the Pontardawe area in April of this year. Many came along to St.Peter’s Church to support the concert and the Choir sung a delightful and eclectic mix of music which went down well with the audience. The soloist was 15 year old, Miss Sara Davies, who sung very beautifully and was given a warm reception by everyone. Also taking part were children from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontardawe and they delighted the audience with their enthusiastic singing.
As well as the Choir’s regular accompanist, Joseph Cavalli-Price, the Choir had engaged Andrew McCutcheon on the organ and Joseph Stanbury on Percussion, which all added up to some thrilling music making under the overall direction of the Choir’s Music Director. The compere for the evening was Bob Williams, who kept the proceedings flowing along smoothly. The concert made over £600 for PANTRY Foodbank, thanks to the efforts of everyone involved and all who came along to support the event.
Summer Concert – 6th June 2014
Neath Polyphonic Choir’s Summer Concert given at St.David’s Church, Neath on 6th June 2014 was a hugely enjoyable evening, with quite an overwhelming number in the audience, almost filling this large church. The Choir were on fine form and everyone seemed to be in very buoyant mood. As well as many firm favourites, the Choir introduced some new pieces, the entertaining ‘Ascot Gavotte’ (complete with ‘horse race’ effects!) and Orff’s famously thrilling chorus ‘O Fortuna’, with crashing cymbals courtesy of guest percussionist, Joseph Stanbury.
The young choir of Neath Welsh School – Cor Ysgol Gymraeg Castell Nedd – delighted everyone with their enthusiastic singing, and sang with a musicality that is not often found in such youngsters. It came as no surprise to learn from their Headmaster, Mr.Tudur Jones that the school had just recently gained first place in the National Urdd Competition – much credit to their music staff, Mrs Janet Jones and Mrs. Sara James.
The Polyphonic Choir’s guest soloist, Richard Allen was one of the highlights of the evening. His tenor voice combined strength and beauty of tone, and he communicated wonderfully with his audience, particularly in the Lehar and Ivor Novello songs in the second half of the programme. Towards the end of the evening, he sang ‘The Holy City’ with Neath Polyphonic Choir in an arrangement especially written for the concert by the Choir’s music director. With soloist, choir, piano and organ in full flow, it provided a moving and stirring culmination.
The Choir were assisted by the spirited and confident accompaniment of their young accompanist, Joseph Cavalli-Price and once again Keith Evans gave excellent support on the organ, as well as entertaining the audience with the flamboyant ‘Sortie in Eb’ by Lefeburewely.
All in all, a musical evening to remember, and the Choir are very grateful to all who took part at this concert and our many supporters who came along on the evening, and helped make it such an enjoyable night.
Neath Town Council Charity Concert – 2nd May 2014
Neath Polyphonic Choir were one of a number of choirs and artistes who were invited to take part in this fundraising concert at St.David’s, Neath towards the Neath Mayoress Appeal and St.David’s Church Tower and Floodlighting Appeal. One of the highlights of the evening was the performance of Quilter’s ‘Non Nobis Domine’ with the combined forces of Neath Polyphonic and Neath Male Voice. We also had the chance to hear the singing voice of the Polyphonic’s accompanist, Joseph Cavalli-Price, who was one of the invited guest artistes.
The Choir was pleased to have been able to contribute towards the good work of the appeals, and is grateful to the Mayor and Town Council for this invite.
Christmas Concert 2013
Neath Polyphonic Choir’s Christmas Concert on 6th December 2013 was an outstanding success. In aid of St.David’s Church Tower Appeal and with former Head Chorister, Laura Thomas right (now Laura Armstrong) returning to her home church to help towards the appeal, the church was filled with around 250 audience!
Laura delighted the audience with her singing and the Briton Ferry Junior Band charmed everyone with their enthusiastic playing. As always, Keith Evans provided some fine accompaniment on the organ with a number of the pieces, and the Choir were on excellent form. They have since received many words of praise for their committed and energetic singing.
With mulled wine and mince pies served during the interval and one lucky person winning two tickets to see Katherine Jenkins performing in Cardiff, all went home having enjoyed a wonderful evening of festive entertainment.
The Choir wish to express their thanks to all the artists who took part and to ALL who came along to help make the evening such a success. In total, over £1,400 was raised for the church Tower Appeal – which was a magnificent result!
Choir makes guest appearance!
On Sunday 7th July 2013, Neath Polyphonic Choir were guests of Briton Ferry Silver Band at a concert in St.David’s Church. The Choir were grateful to have guest accompanist, Nathan Hughes for the evening, and were on relaxed form in their familiar surroundings. The Silver Band played with much flair and one of the highlights of the concert was the stirring performance of ‘Non Nobis Domine’ by Roger Quilter with the impressive forces of Band, Choir and Organ. The Briton Ferry Silver Band junior section charmed everyone with their delightful pieces too.
Singing for the Mayor!
On Sunday 18th August 2013, Neath Polyphonic Choir took part in a Civic Service at St.Peter’s Church, Pontardawe for the new Mayor, Councillor Sue Northcott. Sue is a soprano with the Choir, and it was her idea to invite Neath Polyphonic to sing at this special service. The choristers led the singing of the hymns and sung two anthems besides, and afterwards everyone enjoyed refreshments served in the church. The Choir wish to congratulate Sue on her appointment as Mayor and are grateful for the opportunity they received to take part at this event. We send her every good wish for her year in office.
Voices of Spring!
Neath Polyphonic Choir were on top form for their Spring Concert given on Friday 31st May 2013, and it was a superb evening all round. Thanks to our many supporters for the many comments of praise following the concert and St.David’s Church resounded to some thrilling music on the night.
There was no shortage of acclamation for the outstanding soprano soloist, Catrin Aur, (pictured right) who helped raise the evening’s entertainment onto a very high level, and in many ways was in a class of her own.
The young and very talented guest instrumentalist, Nathan Hughes enthralled the audience with the maturity of his violin playing, and the Choir is pleased to have provided a platform for one of his very first concert performances. He is no doubt a musician with a bright future ahead of him.
Once again, Keith Evans gave a very accomplished support on the organ to the large scale pieces, as well as playing two sparkling organ solos for the audience.
A ‘Coronation Anniversary’ sing-a-long gave everyone a chance to join in, before the stirring Easter Hymn from ‘Cavelleria Rusticana’ crowned off the evening in style.
Christmas Concert 2012
With hardly a seat to spare in the audience, the choir were on top form with a feast of music to suit all tastes. The young guest artistes, singer Amy Harvey, instrumentalist Lowri Thom, and pianist/accompanist Joseph Cavalli-Price all made a great impression with everyone and were given the warmest of welcomes and encouragement. Keith Evans was a great asset on the organ, supporting the choir in the larger-scale items with vitality of playing as well as sensitivity. He particularly delighted the audience with the humorous organ show-piece, ‘Line Dance’ by Noel Rawsthorne.
In the presence of Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Neath Town as well as Neath/Port-Talbot Mayor and Mayoress, the choir were on sparkling form under their Music Director, and seem to be growing in strength and confidence all the time. With mulled-wine and mince pies served during the interval, the Christmas atmosphere was truly captured and everyone went home having thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
We are very grateful to all who helped to organize this event and especially to our audience and many supporters who continue to give us such encouragement. Please see the Gallery page for pictures of the event.
Victoria Gardens Event – 7th July 2012
Grey skies and drizzly weather were not going to deter Neath Polyphonic from keeping to their commitment of singing from the bandstand at Victoria Gardens on Saturday 7th July 2012. Despite the weather, we were very encouraged to have so many supporters who had come to the park to listen to us – and a very big thank-you to you all for being there. The Choir’s performance even had a televised mention on S4C as part of the news and events programme ‘Haner Saith’. We are very grateful to park events organiser, Sarah Maybery-Thomas for the kind invite.
Diamond Jubilee Celebration Concert at St.David’s Church, Neath – Friday 1st June 2012
Neath Polyphonic Choir really captured the Jubilee spirit on Friday 1st June 2012 when they helped kick off the town’s celebrations with an enthralling concert of music to suit all tastes. In the presence of a host of dignitaries including Town Mayor, Councillor Singh and Neath and County Borough Mayor, Martyn Peters, as well as Assembly Member, Mrs.Gwenda Thomas, the Choir were on top form in front of an audience of over 250 at St.Davids Church! Everyone seemed to be in party mood and the ‘Around Britain’ sing-a-long in the second half was a real highlight of the evening. With the choir wearing Union Jack hats and flags and bunting filling the church, there was a great atmosphere and sense of occasion.
Neath’s very own, Joshua Mills, now regarded as one of this country’ s most promising young tenors, delighted the audience with his beautifully controlled singing. Guest organist Keith Evans proved a great asset to the choir, and his playing of the Elizabethan Serenade and Widor’s famous Toccata was particularly enjoyed. Topped off by the exuberant trumpet playing of young Neath musician, Benjamin Evans (brother of the Choir’s accompanist) the grand pieces such as Zadok the Priest had all the splendour that you could wish for. All in all, a very enjoyable evening!
Christmas Concert at St. David’s Church, Neath – Friday 9th December 2011
The Choir’s second Christmas Concert since its formation was enthusiastically received and the church was comfortably filled with an audience of around 200. Mrs.Kim Neyland of Neath Communities First ably acted as compere for the evening and the choir was again fortunate to secure the services of organist, Christopher Waring Davies.
Newly formed Brass Quartet, ‘Fours Company’ were very popular with the audience, and added that ‘Christmassy touch’ to the proceedings with their polished playing.
Neath-born soprano, Nicola Hughes, currently with Glyndebourne Opera, made an enormous impression with everyone and this most talented and engaging of artists sung two opera arias and also some lighter Christmas pieces, before soloing in Mozart’s ‘Laudate Dominum’ with the Choir and then joining the final ensemble to sing John Rutter’s wonderful setting of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, where the Choir and organ were augmented by Brass Ensemble ‘Fours Company’. So the evening concluded in the most magnificent blaze of sound, putting everyone in a suitably festive spirit.
The Choir was delighted to have the presence of Town Mayor, Councillor John Williams and Neath Port Talbot County Mayor, Councillor Harry Bebell, and the Choir made a donation from the concert proceeds to the Mayoress’ Christmas Appeal.
The Choir is very grateful to everyone who came along to support this concert and to all the artists who took part as well as organisers of the event.
Victoria Gardens Re-opening
The Choir were invited by the Town Mayor to sing at the official re-opening of Victoria Gardens in Neath on Friday 8th July 2011, and it was a great privilege to be at the celebration and to sing from the newly restored bandstand.
Civic Service for Town Mayor
The Choir were again invited by Mayor, Councillor John Williams to sing as part of his official installation service at St.Thomas’ Church, Neath on Friday 16th September 2011. The church was filled to capacity and Neath Polyphonic assisted with the hymn singing and also sung two items on their own. It was a pleasure to share in the celebration buffet in the Town Hall following the Civic Service
Neath Festival Week
Neath Polyphonic Choir’s Concert held at St.David’s Church, Neath on Wednesday 11th May 2011 coincided with Neath Festival Week and the choir was supported by Alderman Davies School Choir and guest organist Christopher Waring Davies.
Christmas Concert 2010
Our 2010 Christmas Concert was held at St. David’s Church, Neath on Friday 10th December 2010.
Summer Concert 2010
Our first Summer Concert in July 2010 was enthusiastically received by an audience of over 200, who gave the Choir a standing ovation. The venue was St. David’s Church, Neath.